by Mike Ratliff
I listened to a fantastic interview today on Crosstalk Radio from the 17th. It featured Ingrid Schlueter interviewing Chris Rosebrough. The title of the show was “Emergent Heresy – A Warning.” One of the most difficult things for me over the last few years has been in addressing the heretical things that the emergents were saying, but it seemed that there was absolutely no foundation or structure to their confusing attacks on the truth while using some of the same doctrinal words that we us in Christian Orthodoxy. This interview tied much of the confusion together for me so that I now understand that simply addressing a salient heretical point here and there with them is like trying to kill a swam of mosquitos with an ice pick. This issue really isn’t that these Emergents are messed up theologically, but that they are not Christians at all. Their religion is not Christianity, it is some other hashed together conglomeration of philosophies that have become anchored in our churches because the source of their followers are coming from our youth groups who are easily duped into their lies because they have grown up in churches in which there is no solid Biblical training. Their local church has been fed a dummied down theology that is void of biblical truth.
Who is behind this dummying down of the Church? It is Rick Warren, Bill Hybels and their copy cat followers. I left a SBC church in 2006 that was going Purpose Driven. The Pastor there wanted all of the Deacons, which I was one, to read The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren. However, at that time I had already been in several months of discussion with friends on the original Slice of Laodicea site dealing with this stuff. Ken Silva pointed me in the right direction and before my pastor gave me that book to read, I already understood that if we implemented it there that I could no longer be part of that church. I put together a paper explaining why the Purpose Driven Church model was unbiblical. I gave it to my pastor as I returned the book to him. The paper was ignored and I was ostracized so my wife and I left.
This seeker sensitive church paradigm runs parallel with the emergent church paradigm. They are part of the same deception. Over the last few years as I have dealt with the supporters of both movements, I have been utterly amazed at the Biblical ignorance of these people. Some of them have many letters after their names showing what seminary or seminaries they have attended. However, when they are drawn into a serious Biblical discussion, their usage of God’s Word is pathetic. They try to make proofs from out-of-context passages and once these are blown up on their faces they resort to straw man attacks, insults, and bullying tactics. If they can’t get us to dialogue with them, which is an attempt to make us compromise, then they absolutely refuse to debate because they know that those who are standing firm on God’s Truth are not in any way going to compromise.
Christians who are strong in their faith and know the Word of God well because they live in it as they are commanded, can easily spot the errors in these two paradigms. Also, books like The Shack are clearly seen for the heresies they are. The ones who are duped into believing that we are simply dealing with another form of Christianity in these things are those who are biblically ignorant and whose faith is based more on following men and/or philosophies rather than The Saviour. They are all about religion and churchianity, which are really only idols to them. These are the ones who rise up and try to defend these people as only being misunderstood and are only guilty by association with more radical heretics. They are convinced that there are no absolutes and it is wrong for us to lay the truth out there AS THE TRUTH. As I said earlier, I have had “discussions” with defenders from all of these groups and there is one commonality that I have seen in them all. They discount the Word of God and do not see it as absolute truth and definitely not the plumb line of truth which should govern the lives of all believers.
From the interview I heard today I learned that the theology of the emergents is driven by their eschatology, such as it is. They do not believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of those He came to save. They do not believe He is returning to claim His bride and judge the world. Instead, they ignore what the Bible clearly teaches about the gospel and teach that Jesus is going to return and everyone will join Him in rebuilding the Earth into a paradise. That is why when we witness preachers going soft on sin and repentance that that is a red flag that compromise has taken root there. This is also why these people are all about including homosexuals in their fellowships. This is also why they look with disgust on what the Bible really teaches about The Day of the Lord.
This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:1-4 ESV)
This is talking about the last of the last days. This is the heresy that will be overrunning the Church just prior to our Lord’s return. These heretics we are dealing with today are these scoffers. They love their false religion because it does not convict them of their pursuit of their sinful desires. My brethren, who is the father of all lies? It is Satan. What does he attack with his most deceitful lies? Isn’t it the Gospel and the blessed hope of our resurrection when the Lord returns? He is a counterfeiter and the emergent theology teaches that the real hope is their fantasy of this false Jesus returning to rebuild the Earth with their help. If that isn’t the perfect setup for a vast following for the Antichrist then I don’t know what is. I find it interesting that Rick Warren’s new book is titled The Hope You Need. I understand that it is based on the Lord’s Prayer. If it presents a “hope we need” that is not based on the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, as God’s Word clearly teaches, then it is nothing more than more false prophecy.
Soli Deo Gloria!